Mason Charges to Xtreme Victory on Goodyear Tires TAMPA, Fla. (Feb. 5, 2004) -- John Mason thrilled a large crowd with a bold move to grab the lead, then held off repeated challenges and won the Stacker 2 Xtreme DirtCar Series race at East Bay...
Mason Charges to Xtreme Victory on Goodyear Tires
TAMPA, Fla. (Feb. 5, 2004) -- John Mason thrilled a large crowd with a bold move to grab the lead, then held off repeated challenges and won the Stacker 2 Xtreme DirtCar Series race at East Bay Raceway Park Thursday.
The 50-lap race was extremely competitive as three different drivers led at least one lap and another had a bid for the lead foiled by a caution flag. "All I can say is 'Wow,'" said Mason. "I've been trying to win one of these races since Xtreme started."
The event was the second of the season for the Stacker 2 series and was part of the East Bay Raceway Winternationals. The race drew 58 cars and the drivers came from 22 states.
"We had three-wide racing tonight," said Justin Fantozzi, Goodyear's sales and marketing manager for late model dirt. "The biggest thing is the drivers had the opportunity, from the tire standpoint, to do that."
Earl Pearson Jr. finished second, followed by Jimmy Mars, Scott Pounds and Brian Birkhofer. Pounds started 13th and Birkhofer started 18th in the 24-car feature race.
Dennis 'Rambo' Franklin won the Gemini Hard Charger Award for gaining 15 positions after starting in 22nd place. "I put it all on the table," Franklin said. "I knew I had to go."
Mason's stunning pass for the lead came as the field completed the 15th lap. He was running third as Mars and Pearson exited the fourth turn of East Bay' s one-third mile oval, but he zipped between the two leaders as they charged out of the corner.
Though he was repeatedly challenged, Mason led the rest of the race. "The tires never left me," the winner said. "I think the tires actually like the rubber (on the track). As long as I wasn't sliding them or abusing them, I thought the tires worked really well."
Goodyear is the exclusive tire provider for the Xtreme organization. The consistency of both the sanctioning body's rules and Goodyear's production has put the racers on equal footing with each other and the fans have benefited.
"Mason is the second first-time winner in consecutive nights," Fantozzi said. "He is also the third different winner we've had in the last three nights."
The Xtreme Northern DirtCar Series is scheduled to race at East Bay Friday.